Afore announced today the release of a new solution for securing mission critical applications and virtual desktops (VDI) in the cloud called CypherX. The Ottawa-based firm will demonstrate the solution at VMworld 2013, where it has in the past won awards in the virtualization category. Afore specializes in cloud-based security and has been successful with its CloudLink Secure VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance). The VSA provides a secure software-defined storage layer between VMs and physical storage with VPN, enterprise controlled encryption and flexible key management. CypherX goes a step further and offers the ability to create secure virtual containers for applications, allowing encryption deep within the operating system (network, IPC and storage). Trust policies can be set for defining authorized users, validated machines and certified applications. The solution supports multiple hypervisors and desktop virtualization platforms, and can be deployed for private, public and hybrid clouds. Afore’s solutions also enable HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOX compliance in virtualized IT environments.
CypherX is an interesting product that has great potential. Cloud-based security is becoming increasingly popular in providing protection against web and email-based threats, data leakage, social engineering attempts , APTs, lost and stolen mobile devices, and a host of other problems in an era where the corporate-defined network has become extremely permeable. Organizations are challenged to manage the growing number of endpoints and cloud-based applications, and ultimately the data moving between all these points, in a way that can improve productivity, while maintaining a high-level of security. CypherX is tackling the problem by allowing the creation of secure perimeters around applications and stacks, with granular-level encryptions. With apps effectively locked down in this way, a perimeter breach in the corporate network is much less of a direct danger. An attacker would need to have the right user credentials for a specific app and be accessing from a validated machine; all of these requirements can be defined differently for each application, thereby severely limiting a successful attack. The ability to use CypherX for virtual servers and VDI can potentially offer significant cost savings. If Afore can deliver truly secure use of the cloud, reduced costs, and unified and seamless management of its platform, then it may well be able to offer some serious competition in the lucrative cloud security market.